Can diet influence the sex of your baby?

Filed under: Your Pregnancy, Nutrition: Health, Weird But True

While some couples who are ready to conceive really don't have a preference regarding the sex of their child, many do. From charting cervical mucus to attempting to conceive only during certain times of the year, there are many methods that will supposedly increase the chances of getting the sex of your choice. Scientists at the University of Pretoria in South Africa have been hard at work on this issue and have come up with another one.

Based on the results of a study involving mice, these researchers have determined that girls might really be made from sugar and spice and perhaps chocolate. Likewise, if you are hoping to conceive a boy, skip the puppy dog tails and go for a hamburger and fries.

In the study, scientists gave 20 female mice a diet of the steroid dexamethasone, which kept their blood-sugar levels low. Then, the mice had some babies and their litters were compared to those of 20 mice on a regular diet. The steroid-taking mice produced litters that were 41 percent male, compared to 53 percent for the mice eating normally. Low blood sugar is an indicator of a sugar-rich diet, therefore leading the researchers to believe that eating more sugar will produce more girls.

But we all know that the sex of the child is determined by a chromosome in the male sperm, so how could the mother's diet have any impact at all? Researchers theorize that perhaps a woman's diet affects the environment in her womb, making things more hospitable for a male or female sperm.

So, there you have it. It might be total bunk, but I suppose if I were hoping for a girl, I could be convinced to load up on sugar.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.